Growing up is stopping being afraid of something imaginary, and starting being afraid of something real, where it may be the same thing. For example, I am afraid of sunlight now, whereas when I was a child I was afraid of crying tears of metal, in the process of being filled with adamantium. This is not the same thing.
How slowly these realisations happen, and we can never be sure they have stopped. Imagine the fears we will have in the coming years! For example I recently started having nightmares that the entire process of writing will be disallowed to humans (because it is not optimal) and outsourced to an economy based on texts churned out at incredible speed by artificial intelligences writing word after word based on exactly what we have wanted. And these constructed by minds who were constructed out of everything that has been written, based around a kernel of demand.*
Yes you see we keep on feeding it different stimuli but it always tells us we are [fundamentally flawed] and [deserve to be punished]. Something to do with the way ancient authors viewed their peers. But we don’t have enough data in any other format! Come on, do they really need to read anyway? Doesn’t it just generate irrational brain-forms and cause them to be late for work! Not that we need them to work anymore
I mean who is the artificial intelligence here, really? All of which is to say I haven’t grown up yet.
*this has already happened
Occasionally walk down a path such that you wouldn’t mind to die at the end of it. Having seen the beech seed pods’ dark red and the leaves’ brown, damp on the verges, having felt the cold breeze chill your hand on the umbrella, having said ‘cold I welcome you for a moment’ til it echoes in your fingers and having heard the pop of the rain on plastic like rice crispies in a bowl on a quiet morning. And the greens oh the greens of the trees in towering walls and your lone figure at the base. And the end comes with a sigh of a ‘we have to die sometime. And now is a moment for that, having walked down that path.’ Across the way, the hill of trees sits in the misty rain, magentas and grey greens. Colours shore us.
But there remains this; that an act of self abnegation is a kind of assertion of authority over the world. For the following reasons. Either you believe you should stop, in which case you believe you are powerful and too powerful to change yourself, a contradiction. Or you believe your assessment of things is the most true, which is arrogant, considering the world. Or your abnegation is in itself a challenge to the world, since you believe you can still win by not wanting anything. Or something else. If you would just submit to things, you would have a better time, but that’s what I was saying, wasn’t it? No, I was saying something else. I forget.
Outside it has rained on and off all night. The sodden tea bag is cold in the bottom of the cup. I pop a small fruit gum in my mouth and chew it.